Gabriel Awards Marks 50th anniversary With New Categories for Social Mediaa

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In 1965, a group of Catholic communication professionals wanted to do something that would honor excellence in media that entertains while presenting a true vision of humanity. That effort resulted in the Gabriel Awards and today, five decades later, it is considered the premier awards program for media that enriches the spirit.

This year, the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals (CACP) marks the 50th anniversary of the Gabriel Awards with newly created categories for internet and social media entries. These important programs can now receive the recognition they deserve amongst peers in their own divisions.

 “We welcome entries that are solely produced for the internet as well as programs that are broadcast through traditional outlets,” said Susan Wallace, this year’s Chair of the Gabriel Awards. “Our goal is to recognize the best in creativity and programming that reflects the wonderful achievements of humanity.”

Over the years, the Gabriel Awards has established itself as a touchstone for excellence in film, network, cable television and radio, recognizing media that truly reflects the beauty of life and the human spirit.

Fittingly, winning entries receive a prominent award: a silver angel, representing Gabriel, raising skyward a globe encircled by electrons to symbolize the communication of God’s word to humanity. It is a salute to all those who strive for values-centered programming.

 “Gabriel Award honorees are recognized as leaders in reaching out to their audiences through a principal-based vision of humankind and reporting with a clear and positive treatment of issues,” Wallace said. “They are communicators of truth and beauty.”

  Each year, special awards are given to Radio and Television Stations of the Year in the categories of Commercial/Public and Religious, demonstrating outstanding achievement in their overall efforts. The winning stations take community service seriously – and it is reflected in all that they do to serve their viewers and listeners. These are among the most desired recognitions at the Gabriel Awards.

  This year, a new category has been added to the annual lineup: New Media Campaign of the Year. Many members will share their interactive campaigns and provide an overview of results in an effort to achieve this new Gabriel Award.

 Taking home a Gabriel Award is no easy task. A winning program must endure a rigorous process of preliminary screening and blue-ribbon judging, which includes judging in values, content, creativity, artistic quality, technical quality and impact.

  However, the single most important criterion of a Gabriel-winning program is its ability to uplift and nourish the human spirit. It must affirm the dignity of human beings, recognizing and upholding universally recognized human values such as community, creativity, tolerance, justice, compassion and the dedication to excellence.

“By maintaining these high standards, we are can reward media professionals for outstanding work that might otherwise not be recognized for its enrichment value,” Wallace noted. “The Gabriel Awards is an important component of the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals’ mission to proclaim the Good News.”

The deadline for entries in the 2015 Gabriel Awards is Friday, Jan. 23. To be eligible, a program must have been broadcast, had its theatrical release or been posted or streamed on the internet between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014.

Entry details and form can be found at www.GabrielAwards.com. The entry fee is $175 for all categories, which include religious, ecumenical or interreligious, arts and entertainment, news and informational, and to children’s program. Some categories are also broken down according to national or local distribution. 

“However you reach your audience, we want to see the work you are doing!” Wallace said. “Let us honor you and your good work.”

The Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals is a professional organization of communication professionals supporting the mission and ministry of the Catholic Church in the United States. CACP is sanctioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as the U.S. affiliate of SIGNIS, the World Catholic Association for Communication, which is also recognized by the Holy See.

CACP is the official and primary organization for diocesan Directors of Communication and communication professionals involved in the many ministries, offices, dioceses, archdioceses, religious orders and organizations serving the Catholic Church.

For more information, go to http://catholicacademy.org.

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